Posts Tagged ‘main-event’

ESPN November Nine Conference Call

by , Oct 29, 2009 | 3:59 pm

ESPN had a little tele-press conference about the upcoming coverage of the WSOP November Nine. ESPN’s chief Flack George McNeilly moderated the call, and on it taking questions were Norman Chad, Lon McEachorn and Doug White, ESPN’s Senior Director of Programming and Acquisitions.

(Jeffrey Pollack bowed out with regrets, apparently claiming “tummy-ache”/swine flu.)

For a little preview of what’s in store — from the perspective of storylines, production, and a wee-bit of Darvin Moon sponsorship business …

ESPN 2009 WSOP Main Event Final Table Media Cattle Conference Call
Oct 29 2009
McNeilly, McEachern, Chad, White, et al.


SPOILER ALERT: More heads-up coverage, table/stage a bit closer to the crowd, welcome to the show ESPN Inside Deal, and play along online at Go Phil Ivey or Darvin Moon, and really any of the other guys, too! Akenhead is kinda a funny last name. Presented by Jack’s Links Beef Jerky, yum. Let’s dance. Inside Deal with Kevin Schaffel

by , Oct 27, 2009 | 8:59 am

Besides Kevin Schaffel, Mike Sexton discusses his being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, the latest poker news, previews of tonight’s WSOP episodes (the first half of day 8 coverage) and Phil Ivey’s ESPN: The Magazine cover appearance.

Phil Ivey being Phil Ivey

by , Oct 7, 2009 | 3:07 am

Not to get all Lady Gaga over Phil Ivey … but seriously, the dude who’s only the third-biggest tournament winner in history seldom speaks to anyone not engaged in some sort of gamble with him for more than 30 seconds at a time. But he sat down for nearly 9 minutes with and tells what it took to develop his game (15-16 hrs/day, 4-5 yrs), how rough it is to make it as a pro, bankroll management, the importance of Bobby’s Room during the WSOP, his bracelet prop-bet odds, November Nine preparation, etc.

via PokerNews

Darvin Moon in the Washington Post

by , Oct 5, 2009 | 5:56 am

For a guy who’s not interested in getting press nor a sponsorship from an online poker site or anyone else … November Nine chipleader Darvin Moon sure did get some good ink this weekend, with a major feature in the Sunday Washington Post. Not bad for a guy who was living in a trailer at the foot of Backbone Mountain (before receiving his 9th place money and replacing it with a new modular home).

My favorite excerpt:

Moon started playing poker after giving up softball because, he says, “I got fat.” … Of course, in the slovenly melting pot of the poker room, having a half-watermelon for a gut doesn’t stand out, particularly not at the World Series, where players have been known to show up wearing animal costumes or dressed as Roman emperors.

LOL, “slovenly melting pot” … It’s funny because it’s true! fair description?

BTW, check out the comments on this piece … you’ll see at least a few WaPo readers question why they should even give a flip about this story.

Meanwhile, I can’t help but wonder if Moon isn’t a matter of weak-means-strong … both on the table and off. (I guess that’s one of the things we’ll be looking to find out at the final table, and the lead-up to it.)

Says Card Player magazine President Jeff Shulman, who will be sitting at the final table with Moon in November, albeit with 40 million fewer chips: “Darvin tries to say he’s not that good, he’s just an amateur who got lucky and ran really well for eight days. But at some point, you can’t say you’re just lucky. He was making good decisions.”

Et tu, Britain?

by , Sep 29, 2009 | 1:01 pm

The WSOP-E main event is well underway … they’re getting into the money today, playing down to 27. We’ll wait ’til a few more get knocked out before we see what kinda final table is really taking shape. Lots of interesting names still alive — including a couple November Niners. But one player long dead: Phil Hellmuth, aka Caesar.

Check it out, he did a repeat performance of his Caesarian entrance … but this time with actual animals parading through the streets of London. Gag away:

But here’s the funny part … so he had all his tunic-clad ladies, each representing a bracelet … but when they got to the casino door, they couldn’t get in because they didn’t have their ID’s!

More details here:

Phil Hellmuth WSOPE Entrance FAIL

Jeff Shulman’s WSOP Final Table Coach: Phil Hellmuth

by , Sep 23, 2009 | 7:57 am is reporting …

“The simplest reason why I’m doing this — I want to win, and I think it will help,” said Shulman.

Shulman and Hellmuth’s relationship go way back, as the two have been friends for years, all the while maintaining a successful business relationship. Hellmuth was an obvious choice when Shulman started to seriously consider getting a coach for the final table.

“I turned on the TV and I was watching Tiger Woods or something, and I realized — every single player has a coach,” said Shulman. “No matter how good or bad my game is, it can always get better.”

While there are plenty of jokes to made about how yeah, Jeff Shulman stands to learn a lot about the business of being a professional poker a-hole … actually, what a good move!

Forget the betting and raising and reads … Hellmuth just gave ESPN a great story line, and guaranteed himself a lot of additional (sellable) airtime. (UB jersey allowed?) The 11-bracelet king of WSOP champions — who’s well-aware that people love to hate him — on the sidelines keeping the self-appointed November Nine bad guy in check? That’s gold, Jeffrey, gold I tell ya!

Whether or not Hellmuth ends up throwing a chair remains to be seen, but either way, it’s easy to see how Happy Shulman, by partnering with the Poker Brat, just gave WSOP Inc. a gift.

Re: Inside Deal w/ Mark Seif

by , Sep 8, 2009 | 7:01 pm

Tuesday night’s WSOP Main Event episode featured Norman Chad stating one sentence about the Ultimate Bet scandals as Phil Hellmuth and Todd “Dan Druff” Witteles were at the same feature table. Michalski noted in the comments, Mark originally “broke his silence” regarding the Absolute Poker scandal over at Raw Vegas back in 2007.

Watch The Toke – Absolute Poker’s Mark Seif on

In response to some of Seif’s comments, Todd “Dan Druff” Witteles offered a response on a few days later.

Watch The Toke – Dan Druff on

Jeff Shulman to Shake Up Poker Industry

Taking It to the Next Level, He Says?

by , Aug 25, 2009 | 7:04 pm

In the last edition of Card Player Magazine that I may receive (canceled the subscription after his initial WSOP comments), November Nine member Jeff Shulman takes the sly opportunity to make another unclear accusation point about the WSOP and Harrah’s.

To refresh memories, Shulman was headed for the final table of the WSOP Main Event in July and made some comments regarding the possibility of winning the bracelet, namely that he would throw the gold in the trash. Two days later, published a story allowing Shulman to clarify his feelings. He noted therein that he was disappointed in how the WSOP is run, and that it is no longer run by people who care about poker or have the players in mind. Some of his comments:

“Look, I love poker and entered with the hopes of winning,” Shulman stated. “But, more importantly, I support making the industry stronger and better for the players, and to do this, there needs to be some major changes to the way the World Series is run at the highest level. Hopefully, by doing something like this, people will start talking about those changes. I am going to stand by my commitment, but instead of pointlessly throwing it in the trash, I have come up with a few ideas.”

Jeff Shulman’s alternative bracelet ideas:
1. Auction off the bracelet and give the money to charity
2. Hold a tournament for all players shut out of the main event and award the winner the bracelet
3. Give the bracelet away in a tournament
4. Give the bracelet to Stephen Colbert

As the Card Player Media President and COO, Shulman has the magazine at his disposal in which to write a lengthy explanation of what is so wrong with Harrah’s and how he could fix poker. Instead, though, a page in the September 1 issue is dedicated (as always) to the Card Player TV show entitled “The Scoop with Adam & Diego,” and this time Shulman was the guest and excerpts were printed from the interview. Right off the bat, Diego Cordovez asked a question that baffled me coming from someone in the poker press:

“Now, the last couple of days, the poker press, what there is of it, has started to quote you and stir up controversy, which you initiated…”

Anyhooo, his answer? “…I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say that somebody’s got to do something about it. I’m not sure I’m the right guy, being that I’m in the industry, but it’s not like we have some special relationship here. They hate us, for whatever reason… I think they hate anyone who’s not a celebrity, or maybe it’s just that they treat the celebrities so much better than everyone else that they have special rules, they don’t get penalties. I’ve never seen anything like it. If we really want to take poker to the next level, you can’t have different rules for different people.”

Evidently, by disrespecting the WSOP bracelet and Harrah’s (and all the players who would do anything to be in his final table position), he plans to take poker to the next level. Would that be the rude and insulting level? Would that be the vague and evasive level? Would love to hear some thoughts on this issue…

(The opinions/insinuations herein are Cali Jen’s views and not necessarily those of Pokerati or Pokeratizens.)

10 Minutes with Tom

How to Play Chinese Poker

by , Aug 18, 2009 | 12:47 am

It was dinner break on Day 7 of the main event — and hoping to finalize our patch deal with the really big money (and camera time) getting nearer, I joined Tom Schneider, along with Julie and Robert Goldfarb, at a Vietnamese restaurant with less than 30 minutes before play resumed. But alas, so much for Team Pokerati cracking the top 50 … all they wanted to do was play Chinese for $10 a point.

Here’s his latest instructional vid, teaching Kristy Arnett how to play everybody’s favorite 13-card game:

Poker Hall of Shame

RE: Dirty Chop Dodginess

by , Jul 31, 2009 | 3:39 am

photo: Steve Hall
Don’t Trust This Guy: He’s shown a willingness to screw over five fellow poker players and sully the WSOP for just $2,400.

Big congratulations to Savvas Zenonos for successfully stealing $2,400 from the prize pool in a 2009 WSOP main event mega-satellite that was supposed to be shared in a 22-player chop.

Click here for the details of how a good chop can go awry.

It was a skillful play by Zenonos, who hails from Queensland, Australia — effectively mugging five other players of $300-$500 each without even having to reach in their pockets! Nice!

On the benefit of the doubt that it was a simple mistake (despite his saying, “I’m going to screw you over,” before actually doing so), we gave him three days to make good … and then even another couple of weeks before outing him as a brazen petty poker thief here … but no luck.

Zenonos had no cashes at the 2009 WSOP, but did finish 3,050th for number of cashes in 2008, and 2,984th in WSOP money won that year. His lifetime tournament winnings total $7,675 — though these results do not include satellite wins like this one, where he won an agreed-upon $7,800 but left (supposedly he literally ran off) with $10,200.

Pokerati was unable to reach Zenonos for comment, but will respectfully keep him on The Pokerati Bad List until he pays the money he owes (to any or all of the five afflicted) or volunteers to serve 10 days in a pillory at the 2010 WSOP.

2009 WSOP Debuts on ESPN Tonight

by , Jul 28, 2009 | 9:04 am

Yeah, I almost forgot, too … was reminded by @ESPN_Poker:

Don’t forget, the 2009 WSOP debuts tonight on ESPN at 8 p.m. with the $40,000 no-limit hold ’em event

We’re way past complaining that ESPN is showing only four events, right? Because I’ll be missing tonight’s episode, and I’ll be honest … I might not even set the Tivo were it a $1,500 donkament.

OK, I’m lying … I’m not setting the Tivo for this one either. Will catch it on a rerun, I’m sure. Spoiler alert: Vitaly Lunkin wins.

What I would wanna watch, personally … Any PLO $5k or higher, any Omaha Hi-Lo (because I really think I’m starting to learn that game), and No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Single-Draw, especially were Phil Ivey to make the final table.

This season, as we know, is going to be all about the main event, which we can only expect by the extra weeks to be more of a reality TV-type experience. And then of course the final table being semi-live … yes, live poker is often pretty good, and I look forward to seeing ESPN’s improvements on their second go at the November Nine.

Seriously, not trying to hate on ESPN’s WSOP coverage by letting you know I don’t really care about tonight’s show. On the contrary, props to them for recognizing that poker-on-TV coverage continues to evolve, and they need to mix it up a bit to stay relevant. But I do wonder how knowing this, knowing the role TV plays in getting pros to pony up the bigger buy-ins and online sites to pony up patch-wear overlays, might affect future WSOP tournament schedules.

UPDATE: OK, admittedly I am getting a bit more interested, and see how the $40k will presumably set the stage for the main event reality show after reading this and watching the teaser for Episode 2:

November Nine Betting Odds

by , Jul 27, 2009 | 2:30 pm

Our good friends at Betfair have released the betting lines — already moving — for the final table of the WSOP main event. Current market numbers:

Darvin Moon – 4.2
Eric Buchman – 5.8
Steven Begleiter – 7.2
Phil Ivey – 8
Jeff Shulman – 8
Joseph Cada – 16.5
Kevin Schaffel – 17.5
James Akenhead – 19
Antoine Saout – 21

Bodog’s lines are a tiny bit different, at least at the top:

Darvin Moon – 17/10
Eric Buchman – 3/1
Phil Ivey – 4/1
Jeff Shulman – 4/1
Steven Begleiter – 4/1
Joe Cada – 10/1
Kevin Schaffel – 12/1
Antoine Saout – 12/1
James Akenhead – 22/1

Am I the only one who thinks being chip leader is virtually a kiss of death?

Friends in Non-Poker Places

by , Jul 18, 2009 | 6:30 pm

Sometimes I think they’re important to have. Other times, um, lol? From Facebook:

J ***** sent you a message.

Subject: WSOP

“You still in the main event? In the money yet?”

Hey, so if all you could play along … I’m thinking of telling him yeah, it’s Day 3, I’m good for like $160k and am thinking of cashing out before I lose it all. Cool? If he asks who’s winning we’ll say Greg Raymer, OK? Ooh, or even better, Phil Ivey … er …

Can Phil Ivey Hang on?

He’s no Jeff Shulman

by , Jul 15, 2009 | 10:27 pm

Frankly, I’m starting to see the “value” in having a bitter, Harrah’s-hating heir to an unloved magazine at the final table (seriously, ripping on CardPlayer has been kinda our shtick from the get-go! If it weren’t for them and their incompetence unfriendliness back in the day, we honestly might not be here). And while everybody wants to see Phil Ivey make the final table for millions of reasons … really, do you see him charming the crowd on David Letterman if they’re not willing to wager a few months worth of normal-people income or more?

Here’re the final 10, and their chip positions

Darvin Moon 44.3m
Eric Buchman 36.78m
Steven Begleiter 26.495m
Jeff Shulman 17.9m
Jordan Smith 15.43m
Joseph Cada 13.4m
Kevin Schaffel 13.08m
Phil Ivey 10.21m
Antoine Saout 10.2m
James Akenhead 5.1m

UPDATE: Jordan Smith is out. November Nine is set. We’ll be learning more about them in coming hours/days/weeks/months, I am sure.

RE: November Nine Picks

by , | 12:37 pm

As you know, Poker Shrink put together a little pool amongst a handful of media making our picks for the final table with 64 players left. Here’s the complete list of who picked whom, and who stands to win the $320 winner-take-all: